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Whispering Dragon Style
By Mailanka (LibraryMailanka)
"Senator, I'm afraid you haven't responded to my offer for dinner. My wife is getting most anxious."
Though his voice was light, his demeanor airy and filled with humor, Peleps Daken could see the calculations in his colleuges eyes, his measuring of how much it would take to assure Daken's compliance in certain... matters.
He returned with a laugh of his own. "I've just gotten back from a long business trip myself, my own wife will be jealous if yours is the first to feed me..."
There was a light, misplaced sound within the long, empty halls between the two chambers, the carpet on the marble hungrily consuming the erroneous sound, but Daken had noticed. His eyes flicked to the side, and he saw the shadow where his fellow Senator did not. There was the smallest shift in his stance as his companion began launching into a protest of his own.
Suddenly those around them went silent and a woman shrieked as Daken slipped and moved, his hand touching the assassins wrist, then a swivel of his hip, and the would-be murderer was flat on his back on the ground, Daken's knee pinning him as the Senator still held his wrist.
The other Senator staggered back, in shock, then recovered himself. "My, aren't we lucky that you're a practitioner of the fabled Whispering Dragon..."
Daken smiled "Yes, well, not all of us have the time to master the more complicated Five-Dragon." But he saw the subtle disappointment in the other's eyes. Internally, Daken firmed his resolve to discover the depth of this treachery. Tonight, this man would learn first hand the deeper secrets of the Whispering Dragon.
When Iselsi was still a house one would be willing to acknowldege his member ship to, Iselsi Moreni was often seen as a troublesome youth, especially during his schooling at the House of Bells. Disgusted with what he called the "inefficiency" of Five-Dragon style, he was finally booted from the school for his refusal to learn any aspect of it, claiming that he was sacrilegious towards Mela's "Gift" to the Dynasty.
He wandered for a time through the Realm, doing what young Dragon Blooded do in it's bars and brothels, and where he went, he often found himself in arguements of the nature of a martial encounter. COnsidered an eccentric, he finally dropped from society's eye before he turned thirty.
He was sixty when the Dynasty rediscovered him. House Iselsi had put him up for the Emperoress's approval as a new Senator. He made his first public appearance in thirty years then, in the Emperess's court. He impressed all with his now calm demeanor, his subtle yet sharp wit, and his grace.
The topic of his disappearance inevitably came up, and Moreni willingly obliged with a demonstration upon on attendant of the House of Bells. The technique he showed them was elegant where Five Dragon was coarse. It was simple where Five Dragon was complicated. It focused on defense and subdual where Five Dragon focused on breaking and crushing. It was perfect for those who needed to defend themselves well, but had not the time to perfect the cumbersome and militant five Dragon.
He called it "Whispering Dragon", claiming that not all Dragons roared in battle, but that some were subtle and cunning where others were brash and overbearing.
His contribution was applauded, and it is still taught throughout the realm, though far less than Five Dragon, and primarily at the Spiral Academy as a simpler, but effective form of self defense. And Moreni resumed life as a mere senator, his martial donation a foot note in Dynasty history.
But not Iselsi history. Moreni did not lie when he called his style subtle and unique. The greater secrets he kept for his own house, and they practice his deadly art to this day, using it's secretive techniques to remove sentries and to pass unseen where others could not. While not the level of secrecy that Air stylists practice, nor the deadliness of the secrets of the Water Dragon, it is none the less a powerful technique in the hands of those soldiers who slip behind enemy lines to perform their unsung deeds.
Whispering Dragon is a Terrestrial Style. It is simple enough that any DB can learn it at normal charm costs. As a result, there is no need to roll for the form charm, no extra charms necessary, etc. It receives all the benefits and weakness of such a style. Celestials may, of course, learn it at a normal cost for their own charms.
Unless stated otherwise, this style incompatible with all weapons. A practitioner must have an open hand to make his attacks and defenses.
Dragon Blooded Martial arts are, of course, attuned to an element. I make no assumptions as to how attunement to new martial arts should work in Exalted. If you feel that all martial arts should be attuned to earth, then this one is attuned to earth. If you believe new martial arts can and should be attuned to a new element, then this style should be considered Water aspected.
Curling Dragon Movement</b>
<b>Cost: 2 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 2 Min Essence: 1 Prereqs: None
The simplest movement of the style, and considered the most important to the technique, this is the stylists first effort to put his opponent on the ground and thus control the fight. Unlike other styles, this technique does not rely on a mystical, circular motion to do the job. Instead, it forces the Martial Artist's opponent into the throwing motion which a few touches, and shifts of the Martial Artists own body to add to the attackers momentum. This aggressive approach is what has earned it its practical reputation.
After making a succesful martial arts attack with this charm, the character doesn't do normal damage. Instead, the target of this charm suffers an amount of bashing damage equal to his own strength + additional successes the user of this charm rolled. In addition, the target immediatly suffers knockdown.
If a character is immune to knockdown or knockback for any reason, this charm will not work on them. This charm cannot be blocked without the assistance of a weapon.
Blinding Dragon Grasp</b>
<b>Cost: 1 mote Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 3 Min Essence: 1 Prereqs: Curling Dragon Movement
In an effort to subdue their opponent, Whispering Dragon Practictioners learn to inflict pain through trapped limbs. With a few simple grips, they can change a hold into an exruciating ordeal.
Anytime a character has someone in a hold, he may activate this charm, and inflict a -1 wound penalty to the person he is holding. This charm may be used over several turns (they need not be consecutive), and each use is cumulative. However, the wound penalties inflicted at any given time may not exceed the user's martial arts rating. It should be noted that these wound penalties will reduce the targets dice pool for attempting to escape. This wound penalties are lost should the hold be broken.
Effortless Weapon Snatching Technique</b>
<b>Cost: 2 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 3 Min Essence: 2 Prereqs: Blinding Dragon Grasp
Whispering Dragon Stylists know that a weapon can turn a fight against them very quickly. With a quick tap of the wrist, and an upleasant jolt of essence, they can disarm their opponents with comparitive ease.
After activating this charm, if the character makes a succesful Martial Arts attack. Rather than roll damage, he may roll Strength + Martial Arts + any additional successes on the attack roll in a resisted contest with his opponents Strength + Melee. If successful, the target is disarmed if he is holding his weapon. This will not disarm someone of a "worn" weapon, such as razor claws.
Whispering Dragon Form</b>
<b>Cost: 5 motes Duration: One scene Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 4 Min Essence: 2 Prereqs: Effortless Weapon Snatching Technique
By taking a loose, relaxed, and focused stance, his hands at the ready, a Whispering Dragon practitioner can activate his form. For the remainder of the scene, he has a bonus to all dodge rolls equal to his essence. This bonus is not reflexive, and may only benefit actions set aside for the purpose of dodging. Additionally, with the character's body so loose anf flexible, he can roll away from attacks with greater ease, increasing his bashing soak by his Martial Arts. Finally, he can flow back to an upright position, standing as a free, reflexive action.
Bone Breaking Twist</b>
<b>Cost: 2 motes Duration: Instant Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 2 Prereqs: Whispering Dragon Form
The master practitioner of Whispering Dragon is far more brutal than the lesser practioner, as the use of this charm proves. With a shift of his grip, an intensity of pressure, and a devastating jolt of essence to the right places, he can crumple a limp like paper.
By activating this charm, the character may attempt to cripple a limb of someone he has in a hold. The character enters a resisted contest of his Strength + Martial Arts vs his opponents Stamina + Resistance. If successful, the targets takes one unsoakable lethal health level, and his limb is considered crippled until that health level is healed.
Ghostly Dragon Movement</b>
<b>Cost: 5 motes, 1 willpower Duration: Instant Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 3 Prereqs: Whispering Dragon Form
A master of this art learns not only how to strike, but how to conserve his movements for the best effect. By heightening this skill with essence, he can move in the blink of an eye to somewhere less conspicious.
If the character is currently not being actively observed, he may move to any one point within his sprint distance instantly, assuming that he could arrive at that point with a few minutes of effort.
Example: Senetor Daken has slipped into a library, and hears the door open as a gaurd steps in to check on a disturbance. With mere seconds between him and discovery, Daken must think quickly. The gaurd turns down the corner where Daken stood a second ago to find... nothing. Shrugging, he leaves, and Daken eases himself down from the top of the bookshelf.
Daken could certainly climb onto the bookshelf within a few minutes, and it is within his sprint distance, and thus by activating this charm, he may move there in an instant.
This charm is not teleportation, but very rapid movement. It will not allow you to move behind a locked door (unless you could pick the lock) or to a room behind a wall, but it would let you slip into the sewers with the grate put back into place. As such, the ST may ask for certain rolls, such as athletics or larceny, for the character to acquire his new position.
This charm does nothing to aid long term movement, just a quick flash, and nothing more.
Claws of the Unseen Dragon</b>
<b>Cost: 5 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 3 Prereqs: Whispering Dragon Form
The Martial Artist may cloak himself in shadows and essence, distracting those that would watch his dark deeds. With this protection, the character may kill sentries and targets with ease and no fear of detection.
While making an attack of any type, the character may activate this. He may then reflexively roll Dex+Stealth. Each success will delay discovery of his actions by one turn. This includes discovery of the struggle and the body. This charm will not work if the character or his target are being actively observed. This charm is explicitly compatible with and hand-to-hand weapon, but not to ranged attacks.
This charm may explicitly be comboed with charms from other abilities.
Spine Snapping Grasp</b>
<b>Cost: 10 motes, 1 willpower Duration: Instant Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 4 Prereqs: Unseen Claws of the Dragon, Striking the Vital Flow, Ghostly Dragon Movement
To activate this charm, the character must either have his opponent in a hold, a clinch, or have succesfully surprised him. By reaching out with his hand, grasping the jaw, and forcing a surge of essence down his opponents throat while giving the head a sudden twist, he is virtually assured of the death of his opponent.
The character rolls Strength + Martial arts in a resisted roll with his opponent's Stamina + Resistance. A mortal target that fails this roll is either instantly slain, or horribly injured, incapacitated, and likely to have lingering effects of the injury.
For Exalted, this charm is less effective, as the essence that flow through their body makes their spine a less vulnerable target. If the Exalted target fails his roll, he takes 7 health levels of lethal damage, which may be soaked only by the Exalted's stamina and soak enhancing charms. This will always inflict at least 1 health level of damage.
This charm will not work on the undead, unliving beings (such as mechanical constructs) and beings with a vastly different physiology from humans (such as Sesselja).
"I wanted something that would contrast well with Five Dragon. Five Dragon is a hard style perfect for soldiers, so I wanted a soft style perfect for soldiers. That which is practiced by Special Forces in our own world is both. Simple, practical, and brutal, it also focuses on throws, locks, and disarming, and I wanted this style to do the same.
At the same time, I didn't want to do what Ebon Shadow style did and replace Stealth and such. I wanted something that would be benefited by knowing Stealth and other techniques.
So this is not a style for face-to-face confrontations. Put in a stand-up fight with a Five Dragon Practictioner, a Whispering Dragon Practitioner will probably lose, but he is meant to dominate and control the fight, never giving the other a chance to fight back.
The style has two layers. On the one hand, it appears as a simple self-defense style. For those who learn it as such, they will never learn anything beyond the form charm. But those who learn its greater secrets will make excellent Special Ops-style soldiers." -- Mailanka